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Old 04-13-2010, 07:09 AM   #1
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Default FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value


FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

4/12/2010 8:52 PM ET By JJ Cooper
http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/04/12/f...n-dealing-hol/

In trying to gauge the reaction around the NFL to the Steelers-Jets' Santonio Holmes trade. I contacted Football Outsiders' managing editor Bill Barnwell for his thoughts. He gave his opinion on the trade, which is reproduced below.

When you heard Santonio Holmes for a fifth-round pick, what was your initial reaction?

My reaction was honestly something similar to what ended up coming out as the story -- that the Steelers wanted to get rid of Holmes at any cost, and that they offered him around to a few friendly teams and said 'yes' to the first offer they got. Certainly, I was under no delusions that the Steelers were looking to get value for Holmes, as I'm sure nobody else was.

I think what surprised me afterwards was reading -- whether it's true or false -- is that the Steelers did offer Holmes around to the majority of the league's teams, and a fifth-round pick was the best offer that they received. It seems unconscionable that, given what we know about Holmes, a team like St. Louis or Jacksonville wouldn't have offered a fourth-round pick to try and extract some value out of Holmes, even if it was only going to be for 12 games.

Holmes' finished 10th in DYAR last year and 11th in 2007. Where would you rank him among the NFL's receivers. Top 10? Top 20?

I'd put him a little below those rankings; I think, considering how good Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, and Heath Miller is, his production is a little better than his actual true level of ability. I'd put him right around 25 or so. He's an excellent deep receiver, but he benefits from having so many effective targets around him, and hasn't had to fight through double coverage or excel at the intermediate routes that number-one receivers do.

That's my concern with him heading into New York. I'm sure some Jets fans see Holmes' numbers over the past few years, add them to the totals of the Jets' receivers from 2009, and start researching Super Bowl flights. I don't think it's that simple. To build an effective passing offense, you need a variety of players with different skill sets, and the example that comes to mind as an obviously flawed offense that seemed explosive at the time involves another Jets player -- Braylon Edwards. When the Browns acquired Donte' Stallworth before the 2008 season, they dropped in Stallworth as a replacement for Joe Jurevicius, with the idea that teams wouldn't be able to cope with the deep threats of Edwards, Stallworth, and Kellen Winslow heading up the seam.

The problem was that they had no intermediate possession receiver, which was the role that Jurevicius had filled very well in 2007. With no one operating underneath, teams just shadowed all the Browns' receivers deep and kept their safeties high, which prevented the receiving corps from making plays downfield. The Browns then tried turning Edwards into that possession receiver as the season went along, and it was a disaster -- it led to the huge drop numbers that became Edwards's trademark.

Now, while Edwards wasn't great after being traded to the Jets, he fit their offense well because he got to play across from Jerricho Cotchery, who is a similar sort of player to Jurevicius -- a good route-runner that's effective at the intermediate level. The Jets had all the players you want in an offense -- the possession guy, the deep threat, the athletic tight end, and even a burner from the slot (David Clowney).

The problem with Holmes is that he's an extremely similar player to Edwards. Their mix of strengths and weaknesses mean that they can't both start at the same time, which pushes Holmes into the slot. He can be a valuable player there, but he won't see the field -- or the ball -- frequently enough in the Jets' offense to accrue the sort of numbers Jets fans are expecting.

In thinking back, the Randy Moss Raiders-Patriots trade seemed to be the closest equivalent to this that I could think of as far as getting a premium receiver for a second (now third-day pick). Are there any other trades that strike you as similar?

I don't think even that trade is comparable; Moss was seen as a player that was past his prime. Holmes is a player that's entering his. The closest comparable to a situation like this is usually a player that's released for personal reasons -- someone like Antonio Bryant.

In Bryant's case that obviously worked out well for the Bucs. Can you think of a case where a team bought low and it didn't pay off? It sure seems like the worst case scenario is that the Jets will lose a fifth-round pick (no huge loss) in the unlikely case that Holmes ends up getting slapped with another suspension.

Honestly, I can't really think of one where the move didn't work out, although I'm sure there are examples out there.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

once again, the Front Office KNOWS what they are doing.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

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once again, the Front Office KNOWS what they are doing.
Huh? The whole article was about how Holmes is not a great fit for the Jets. That doesn't help us at all. Bottom line is still that all we ended up with was a shitty draft pick, and despite all the unsubstantiated rumors out there about who was offering what, anyone but an idiot can see that we could've gotten a lot higher pick. So we absolutely blew it, no question about it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

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Huh? The whole article was about how Holmes is not a great fit for the Jets. That doesn't help us at all. Bottom line is still that all we ended up with was a shitty draft pick, and despite all the unsubstantiated rumors out there about who was offering what, anyone but an idiot can see that we could've gotten a lot higher pick. So we absolutely blew it, no question about it.
Boldin garnered a 3rd and a 4th, minus all the legal baggage and the fact that he hasn't pissed dirty and isn't facing a league-mandated suspension, and by all accounts (unless you're an absolute homer) is a superior WR to Holmes. How much higher of a pick do you think we could've gotten?
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

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Boldin garnered a 3rd and a 4th, minus all the legal baggage and the fact that he hasn't pissed dirty and isn't facing a league-mandated suspension, and by all accounts (unless you're an absolute homer) is a superior WR to Holmes. How much higher of a pick do you think we could've gotten?
Probably at least a 3rd. Don't know whether we'd get the same deal as Boldin, but at we least could've gotten one useful pick, which a fifth-rounder -- and a bottom-of-the-fifth-rounder at that -- definitely is not.

Don't forget -- Boldin was also somewhat tarnished by having huge contract requirements and a well-documented attitude problem. He's also in that same "Yeah-but" category as Holmes where people can chalk a lot of his success up to being in a pass-heavy offense with a great QB and another great WR drawing a lot of attention. I know I certainly don't expect him to put up numbers on the Ravens that are anywhere near what he was doing in Arizona.

At any rate ... this absolutely SCREAMS the question, who exactly DID we talk to, and how hard did we shop around? Not very, is my guess. There are probably half a dozen teams out there that are absolutely desperate for receivers and likely would've given more than a fifth, suspension or no. And if you deal with the Raiders, there's always the off chance that you'll end up with a top-10 pick for your trouble. Holmes seems like a guy that Al Davis would die for on all accounts. I doubt we even talked with them. Anyone knows the first thing you do when trying to unload a disgruntled player is try to take advantage of the Raiders.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

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Huh? The whole article was about how Holmes is not a great fit for the Jets. That doesn't help us at all. Bottom line is still that all we ended up with was a shitty draft pick, and despite all the unsubstantiated rumors out there about who was offering what, anyone but an idiot can see that we could've gotten a lot higher pick. So we absolutely blew it, no question about it.
if you DOUBT the steelers current Depth at Wide Receiver and DONT TRUST that the F.O. KNOWS how to handle the situation and you are COMPLETELY CONVINCED we SHOULD HAVE obtained a HIGHER DRAFT PICK for the trade and IF NOT that WERE COMPLETELY SCREWED... well if you believe all that. then yes. WE BLEW IT.

Sure, we could have received Better. but THAT WASNT THE PURPOSE OF THIS TRADE.

i'd like to believe THE REAL REASON and PURPOSE OF THIS TRADE is to relay a message. that NO PLAYER IS ABOVE ANYONE ELSE. even if you were a former SB MVP, u must play by the rules and LIVE BY THE STANDARDS SET BY THIS ORGANIZATION. and if you dont, you are GONE, for WHATEVER the OFFER. even a 5th round pick if you're worth more. oh yea, im pretty sure the message is loud and clear and that the rest of the players got it. AND as soon as big ben receives his punishment, that message will be crystal clear. Not only do the Steelers know how to win. but they also know how to WIN, THE RIGHT WAY.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

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Probably at least a 3rd. Don't know whether we'd get the same deal as Boldin, but at we least could've gotten one useful pick, which a fifth-rounder -- and a bottom-of-the-fifth-rounder at that -- definitely is not.

Don't forget -- Boldin was also somewhat tarnished by having huge contract requirements and a well-documented attitude problem. He's also in that same "Yeah-but" category as Holmes where people can chalk a lot of his success up to being in a pass-heavy offense with a great QB and another great WR drawing a lot of attention. I know I certainly don't expect him to put up numbers on the Ravens that are anywhere near what he was doing in Arizona.

At any rate ... this absolutely SCREAMS the question, who exactly DID we talk to, and how hard did we shop around? Not very, is my guess. There are probably half a dozen teams out there that are absolutely desperate for receivers and likely would've given more than a fifth, suspension or no. And if you deal with the Raiders, there's always the off chance that you'll end up with a top-10 pick for your trouble. Holmes seems like a guy that Al Davis would die for on all accounts. I doubt we even talked with them. Anyone knows the first thing you do when trying to unload a disgruntled player is try to take advantage of the Raiders.
Good points. I agree, the whole deal seemed rushed to me as well. Oh well....
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

it was definatly rushed and i would bet anything that the rams would of given us a better pick but we wanted to make a point by unloading him that night. they found out about the suspension and wanted him gone. i would of liked to get a 3rd for him but im not complaining because he needed to go and we needed to send a message
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

So Question is then.....why cant you accomplish both, send a message while still helping your team and aquire the bests possible pick. ( assuming that we all agree there should have been better offer)

I mayt be in the minority but I will really, really miss Santonio on the field in the black & gold.
Dude was a solid blocker, big game player, and great running after the catch. And noone can convince me that is easily replceable no matter what you say...
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: FO's Barnwell: Steelers Weren't Looking For Value

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So Question is then.....why cant you accomplish both, send a message while still helping your team and aquire the bests possible pick. ( assuming that we all agree there should have been better offer)
DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDI NGDINGDINGDING

This. This is the right answer. Either way we get out of a bad situation. Nobody's going to think it sends more of a "message" if we take a low fifth-round pick instead of a third; they're just going to think we were suckers. Frigg'n football.
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